The founder of events company My Beautiful City tells Marie Davies about pulling off fashion firsts when it comes to holding shows in unusual locations.
You are responsible for the production of some of the biggest designers’ shows in London and you like to push the boundaries don’t you?
We were the first production company to hold a fashion show in the Turbine Room space at the Tate Modern – for the Matthew Williamson show this season, which was very exciting. We also obtained permission to be the first to show at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in 2009 with Vivienne Westwood. Another first was the British Museum for Temperley London’s autumn 11 show. Finding new venues and doing something different for our clients is what drives me.
When did you first realise you had a talent for event production?
I held my first event when I was 16 at my mother’s farm in Devon. She went on holiday and I hired a sound system and had a two-day party with almost 1,000 people turning up. I made money from selling alcohol and car parking spaces. Afterwards I had loads more mates and a bit of money in my pocket and thought, there’s something in this.
What came next?
I then moved to London when I was 18, working in retail for a long time, and then ended up at Whitechapel Art Gallery. While I was working at Whitechapel organising events I got poached by club 93 Feet East in Shoreditch to run it. Following that I put on a series of successful club nights, bringing in cutting-edge bands from New York to London including The Rapture and Lcd Soundsystem.
How did that lead you to what is now My Beautiful City?
The notoriety of the club nights meant brands such as Boxfresh came to me asking for brand activity, we turned into a limited company in 2006 and it started to get a lot more serious after that.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
We tried putting on a music festival but the problem with that is you’re going up against the biggest music companies out there and it’s really hard to compete on that level. We had various problems, like the venue changing in the last two weeks. It was a nightmare but I learnt a lot from it.
How do you stay ahead of the competition?
I am particular about what we are good at and what we want to work on. Our clients tend to stay with us, and I think that’s because we are all about the added extras we can give them. People know coming to our events means you are going to have a great party, no matter what the brand. There is a real highly strung nature in events and it is important to take that away from the client and deal with the issues.
What is next for My Beautiful City?
We have lots of new ideas coming up for brands that want to use us for launch activation, advice on getting relevant press coverage and standing out with social media, which will be really exciting.
Robin Scott-Lawson is founder of the events production agency My Beautiful City
Where do you like to shop?
Dover Street Market. And a personal favourite is an amazing Prada outlet in Locanda Toscanini, Italy.
Which brands do you wear?
Vivienne Westwood (pictured), Acne, B Store and Ralph Lauren.
What was the last gig you went to?
A Chris Cunningham gig at The Roundhouse in Camden.
Who do you admire?
The film director Christopher Nolan. On a visual front he is incredible. We produced the after-party at Battersea Power Station for the premiere of Inception.